Hugh McCaffrey Byrne ’46 was born on May 8, 1923, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to parents Lex and Margaret McCaffrey Byrne. Hugh was one of seven siblings who have all passed: Frances, Marian, Joe, Tom, Lex, and Marjorie. Frances and Marian joined the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary; Joe served in WWII and died following the Battle of Guadalcanal; twins Tom and Lex joined the Society of Jesus; and Marjorie was her parents’ caregiver. Hugh moved with his family to Oakland at age 4, where he lived until he was 61 years old. He was celebrated as a star high school football athlete at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley. Hugh continued his stellar athletic football career at SCU, where he injured his back and was not able to join the San Francisco 49ers when recruited. Hugh entered the Army Air Corps in 1942 at age 19. He bravely served in WWII in Europe, flying missions as a B-17G commander, and continued his war service as a B-29 Pacific Theatre commander. In civilian life, Hugh continued his military service through the Cold War as an Air Force captain and intelligence officer. He loved and married the beautiful Peggy Ball in 1950, with whom he had two daughters, Dreslaine and Shivonne. He dedicated his life to his family, and he was a constant presence in all aspects of his daughters’ lives. Hugh loved God, Notre Dame football, traveling with his family, and the granite of Yosemite, which helped calm him following his war service. He gave his daughters a true travel bug, and because of him Yosemite, Tahoe, and Disneyland are like second homes. He also gave his daughters a true passion for sports, teaching them more about baseball and football than most boys will ever learn. He kicked off his volleyball coaching career with Shivonne through her high school teams. He was a gifted and charismatic salesman and worked for Vogue Patterns and Mayflower Moving Company, but never felt the need to prove himself post-military service beyond being his girls’ “Daddy.” He was also one of the world’s best schmoozers and a total people person; everybody who met him remembered Hugh Byrne (and not just because he was movie star handsome). Hugh moved to Bellevue, Washington, in 1984 to help Dreslaine raise Alexis and Michael after the death of their father, where he was there for “everything”—they were the second of three families he helped raise. He was an active and adored grandfather of five in total: Alexis, Michael, Stephan, Gillian, and Rae Ann. Hugh coached many of their teams and supported them completely in all their athletic endeavors. He was their biggest cheerleader in life and sports. Hugh continued to live with Dreslaine when she married Steve and was an active participant and helper in their Redmond home and with their children. Hugh also was a “regular” at Shivonne and John’s home, where he was Gillian’s one and only babysitter. He was “Great Papa” to Michael and Raina’s three boys: Harrison, Tucker, and Sawyer. Quite simply, Hugh was Grandpa Hugh to so many, enrichening their lives with his powerful love and goodness. He passed away on Oct. 24, 2017.

08 Nov 2018